18 March

I know the day after St. Patrick’s Day….the cabbage has been eaten and the green beer is gone…..why not hurt your head with some history?

It is Women history month and since I do enjoy my history and today is the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, 18 March 1871.

The Paris Commune was a popular-led democratic government that ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. Inspired by the Marxist politics and revolutionary goals of the International Workingmen’s Organization (also known as the First International), workers of Paris united to overthrow the existing French regime which had failed to protect the city from Prussian siege, and formed the first truly democratic government in the city and in all of France. The elected council of the Commune passed socialist policies and oversaw city functions for just over two months, until the French army retook the city for the French government, slaughtering tens of thousands of working-class Parisians in order to do so.

The Paris Commune was formed on the heels of an armistice signed between the Third Republic of France and the Prussians, which had laid siege to the city of Paris from September 1870 through January 1871. The siege ended with the surrender of the French army to the Prussians and the signing of an armistice to end the fighting of the Franco-Prussian War.

At this period in time, Paris had a considerable population of workers—as many as half a million industrial workers and hundreds of thousands of others—who were economically and politically oppressed by the ruling government and the system of capitalist production, and economically disadvantaged by the war. Many of these workers served as soldiers of the National Guard, a volunteer army that worked to protect the city and its inhabitants during the siege.

More on the background of the uprising……https://www.thoughtco.com/paris-commune-4147849  and  https://www.counterfire.org/articles/history/21095-the-paris-commune-150-when-workers-ran-a-city

Among the leaders of this uprising were many women….among them was Louise Michel…..

During the Paris Commune, women organised as never before. There were women caring for the wounded, women bringing food to the fighters and women fighting – some doing both. Women’s organisations and meetings were set up to improve the role of women in society. But of all the many women who took part in these activities, including prominent political thinkers and organisers, such as Elizabeth Dmitrieff, Andre Leo, and Nathalie Lemel, the name which is remembered most in association with the Commune is that of Louise Michel.

This is probably because Michel, as her biographer, Edith Thomas, says, was everywhere at once: in the political clubs and on the battlefield, in the 61st Montmartre battalion (noted for fighting like devils, and for her energy in particular), on committees and in the ambulance stations she helped to organise. Soldier, ambulance nurse, orator, her courage and audacity meant she was at Clamart, Neuilly, and Issy Les Moulineaux, with a rifle in her hands. She also proposed going in person to Versailles to assassinate Thiers. When told she would not be able to get that far, she disguised herself and got within reach of Versailles.

https://www.counterfire.org/articles/history/22143-louise-michel-the-revolutionary-woman-who-led-the-paris-commune

These are events that you probably have never heard of or the women who were a vital part of this historic event…..and that is why I am here.

An interesting time and a fascinating historic event…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

10 thoughts on “18 March

  1. During the siege, the Parisians were so hungry, they killed and ate some of the animals in the zoo. It was an interesting time indeed, and gave us the name ‘Communards’ too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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